As much as I love modeling in Rhino …and by extension, organic modeling with TSplines (RIP - pours out a 40) I’m genuinely curious on why folks seem to fence themselves into ONLY using nURBS.
Trepidation from venturing beyond the familiar? Absolute requirement by your industry to stay locked into nURBS?
TSplines for Rhino’s extinction allowed me to reflect on the goals I wanted to achieve. Do I need the precise curvilinear tools that Rhino provides? Absolutely. Still do. However, when it comes to the organic modeling side of things, a decade of TSplines modeling has taught that I not only want more of it, but I want the power and freedom to add as much detail as I wish.
TSplines, Clayoo and I’d even make predictions that Rhino’s future Sub-D feature will never converge with my expectations in level of detail. Maybe the devs might admit this, or maybe they’ll let users hobble along until a few come to the realization they should be sculpting/modeling with polygons all along.
At the very end of the day, whatever I create using whatever tool I’ve deployed has to be converted to an STL mesh for my SLA 3D printers. With this in mind, trying to force Rhino to natively create the types of detailed mesh most would have in mind when the requirement is an animal, a character, a vine trellis… spline-based modeling is IMO absolutely the wrong tool for the desired target. I love Rhino’s ability to ingest all sorts of files and meshes, but doing much else beyond that isn’t it’s specialty - despite numerous previous threads expecting otherwise.
In the pictured example, would it be possible to add a feather texture? Not effectively… within a few more steps of detail or subdividing faces, the model will bog Rhino down. Convert it from TSplines to a STL mesh early in the game? I’ve not only lost the ability to edit the model (move the head, lift a leg) the heavy mesh might again tax the system.
The better tool for detail-freaks? Any polygon sculpting program. Here are my starts with the freeware/abandonware Sculptris from Pixologic:
The sculpting app allowed the model to be whipped around and rotated regardless of the increasing detail sculpted into it. Given my final target size, I paused here, exported a copy as a STL mesh, and imported that STL into Rhino to check scaling and modeling SLA supports. For a free program, the end-results are far beyond anything that slogging through Clayoo or TSplines could achieve.
If my intention was for larger prints, I’d return to Sculptris and easily add individual strands into the lion mane or scales to the dragon body.
I’ve since put the effort into learning ZBrush and the revelations are even more mind-blowing. Meshes with over 10 million polygons are twirled around effortlessly on this 2012 notebook. Tools like ZBrush’s Decimation Master will intelligently take a heavy mesh and convert it to a 200,000 polygon mesh with no noticeable loss of detail for easy handling inside Rhino. The latest release added a feature called Live Boolean that makes 3D modeling a game-changer.
Ultimately the point is if you’re at the crossroads of selecting a modeling tool to further your abilities with Rhino, it should be a tool that provides the greatest range of results for the effort you’ll put into modeling.